Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Highway Trust Fund Extension Battle Looming

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar has picked up the backing of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for his proposed three month extension of federal highway trust fund authority, opposing both Senate leadership and the Obama administration, which want an 18 month extension to take highway construction funding off the table while health care reform and climate change legislation work their way through Congress.

The U. S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Trucking Association, and American Automobile Association have all written to Congress asking for a six year highway trust fund reauthorization as soon as possible. Their joint letter says, "Delaying significant investment and necessary program reforms until the next Congress will not benefit our nation's economy, safety, or quality of life."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, meanwhile, says, "Our strong hope is that we get an 18 month extension and are open to the best way to get that done." If your long range planning in your business depends on consistent funding of federal highway construction projects, now is the time to get on the phone to your Senators and Congressman and let them know you back Oberstar over Reid.
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